Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A collective psychosis

The heads of states and governments have tonight gathered in Brussels for their annual economics European Council, which will last until tomorrow.

And, defying the laws of economics, if not gravity, the first thing they undertook was to approve the changes to the growth and stability pact agreed by finance ministers last Saturday.

In what can only be described as a collective psychosis, however, the leaders then lauded the changes – which have every economics authority in Europe tearing their hair out in despair - as necessary to spur growth in lean times.

L'escroc Chirac was particularly voluble, declaring that the "amended" pact contained "more intelligent" monetary rules that will be "more accepted and more respected." Just which planet is he on?

Schröder chipped in with some patronising comments for Jean-Claude Juncker, telling the world he had done "a top-notch job." German finance minister Hans Eichel, who should have known better, then said that the new pact "is economically more sound".

Displaying an economic illiteracy not normally associated with German finance ministers, he then went on to say that the looser rules made economic sense "because they free up public spending that can trigger growth." And since when did public spending – especially on the scale of the German economy, trigger growth.

Clearly not having heard the maxim, "when you are in a hole, stop digging" – or whatever the German equivalent is - he then declared, with every sign of satisfaction, that the pact, "can now be used in an economically smart, growth-oriented way".

And now that this inconvenient matter is out of the way, the assembled heads of states and governments can now get down to another little round of collective psychosis as they discuss the EU budget for 2007-2013, to say nothing of fudging that services directive.

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